Suzuki has begun ‘fundamental’ testing of its new 1000cc prototype engine for the new MotoGP class in 2012, despite its immediate future remaining shrouded in mystery.
Although not understood to be as advanced as track testing in Japan, a GSV-R 800cc replacement is undergoing component testing.
Suzuki has not yet confirmed yet whether it will enter the new 1000cc four-stroke class in 2012 having announced recently that it will reduce its involvement in 2011 to just one bike.
Some fear the decision to downsize to one machine for Spaniard Alvaro Bautista is the first step towards a complete withdrawal with the Japanese factory hit hard by the global economic meltdown.
But MotoGP boss Shinichi Sahara told MCN that he hoped Suzuki will compete in 2012 with a two-rider factory effort.
“Nothing has been fixed yet but from my position and a technical point of view we’ve already started to think about the 1000cc project and it is going quite well. Design stage for the first prototype is done and we’ve already started fundamental testing for 1000cc prototype.
"From an engineering point of view I will try and make the effort to come back with two bikes, so I strongly hope to be back to two bikes in 2012, "said Sahara.